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tv   The 11th Hour With Brian Williams  MSNBC  April 10, 2017 8:00pm-8:31pm PDT

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golf, 250 round, that's more than a guy who plays on the pga tours plays. he played more government that is year than tiger woods. >> he was lying, of course, because he was speaking. president obama averaged about 35 rounds of golf per year. and at this point in president obama's presidency, he had not played golf even once. donald trump has played golf 17 times as president of the united states already. donald trump is going for the golf record as president. that's top's last word. the 11th hour with brian williams starts now. on the, the selling of a presidency. how does donald trump brand his first 100 days as a success? with the administration hard at work, two white house reporters share behind the scenes details with us tonight. also, how do you sell success when your team isn't getting along? the infighting between jared
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kushner and steve bannon that keeps churning out headlines. and what happens next between the u.s. and russia over syria? "the 11th hour" begins now. good evening once again from our headquarters here in new york. the end of day 81 of the trump administration. that means starting tomorrow, 18 days remain toward the first 100 days benchmark. and the is a lot of reporting tondicate the white house is scrambling to define these first 100 days in office. the politico headline from their chief white house correspondent, who will join us momentarily is this, quote, white house on edge as 100 day judgment nears. the piece recounts a recent meeting with 30 staffers, about one fifth of whom promptly leaked details of the gathering centered around trying to craft
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a message defining the first 100 days. quote, 100 days is the marker, and we've got essentially two and a half weeks to turn everything around said one white house official. this is going to be a mumal task. one of the bigger challenges is torning out to be -- turning out to the foreign policy. quoting again are the piece, the state communications director told the assembled aides that international affairs would present a messaging challenge because the president lack as coherent foreign policy. there is no trump doctrine dub kyi declared. some in the room were stun by the remark of the. it should be noted this white house meeting occurred before thursday's air strikes in syria. but the president's poll numbers have seemingly been helped by the past few days, which included those air strikes a summit with china's president, and a slowdown on damaging headlines about russia. a new cbs poll puts the
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president's approval rating at 43%. break that down by party and the polarization of the country is on full display. thumbs-up on trump's job approval from 83% of republicans, 11% of democrats, and 42% of independents, interestingly. even with his overoverall approval on the rise the negatives of the past 81 days whichv piled up. false claims about inauguration crowd size. alternative facts. the mike flynn firing after he lied about meeting with russia's ambassador. the president's travel ban, block not once but twice. trump's explosive phone call with the australian prime minister, of all people. jeff sessions having to recuse himself on russia. the president's wiretap claims and the ensuing devin nunes saga over intelligence sharing. the meetings with trump confidants and russians coming
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to light. a crushing legislative defeat on health care reform. reports of infighting inside the white house. that's a basic list to date. each the president's biggest achieve men, the swearing in of a supreme court justice which happened today in the rose garden is tarnished in the eyes of his critics after the senate had to quite literally rewrite the rules to get his man confirmed. let's bring in the members of our panel on a monday night. the aforementioned chief white house correspondent at politico shane ld macker joins our broadcast. also, eli stokels, reporter at the "wall street journal." here in new york, kate listen huey burns. welcome to you all. shane w the first 100-day challenge looming -- and we should be clear, fdr labeled it. he was really talking about congress, bup he became -- but
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he became the author this mittic benchmark that the media care about more than any actual people. what is going on inside the trump white house with this approaching? >> while the 100 day marker is a media creation donald trump is so much a creature of the media that he is paying close attention and his white house is obsessed with it. you heard today at the gorsuch confirmation trump proclaiming he did that in the first 100 days. as you listed there are a long list of things that have gone wrong. they are scrambling to point out what has actually gone right. they have a few things they would like to highlight. but the process of brainstorming them at this meeting last week, the details we have today at politico shows they are not all on the same page just yet. >> eli, the president came into office a entered political life with close to 100% name
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recognition. we had never seen that before. he is, by any standard a television star. with that as the predicates, what have you heard further on what he has been ordering the staff to do prior to this benchmark? >> well, that's an interesting point f. americans aren't grading trump on a curve that makes the approval rating that was below 40% the last couple of months even worse, i suppose. i think inside the white house there is a realization as borne out by the meeting that shane reported on and by the reporting i have done also in terms of they won't say this publicly, they are trying to sell the first 100 days but they know and the president most this has not gone well. i talked to a person very close to the president today who said that he understands this has been chaotic that they have not piled up that many wins. that they have been slow to get out of campaign mode and get into governing mode. they said he realizes now that he needs to work with people.
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you would think that was something that he might have understood coming in. but that has been a realization that apparently has dawned on him of late here. really when you step back from this you have an anti-establishment figure whose biggest win so far the appointment of neil gorsuch to the supreme court was really carried out and executed by mitch mcconnell who personifies the republican establishment better than anyone in town. and you sit here and you look at all of this and you understand this is a president with a very steep learning curve who realizes they have got a long way to go. >> caitlyn, if i asked you to define the brand this candidate, what would you say? and if you had to define the brand this president, what would you say? >> i think they are very similar. i don't think we have seen a real difference between candidate trump and president trump. i think shane's story is fascinating for a number of reasons. one, it reminds us that trump is kind the marketer in chief, looking for that kind of bumper
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sticker way to sell what he thinks he as accomplished. he's also a very transactional president. his experience in politics is the campaign. campaigns of course are very transactional, you win or you lose. same goes for much of his business experience. governing, as we know, is not that kind of thing. and if you judge it in those terms he hasn't gotten out of what he wanted to given that he is working with congress. >> shane, if we accept that he was kind of the chaos candidate, he was about -- and i think think he would say that proudly. he was about upsetting the status quo, drain and swamp, and all of that. we keep saying unforced errors so far in this president. a lot of it is the downside risk that comes with that tendency. >> yeah, i mean he brought in a set of people that did not have government experience. he named as his chief of staff reince priebus the former
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chairman of the republican national committee. yes, that's a political insider but no that's not someone who knows how congress works. that bn a huge challenge for this white house, getting bills passed, finding sponsors. know when to push and pull back. that's not apparent on the health care fight. at the end of this first 100 days they are likely to have no significant legislative achievements. in fact, they need a bill to be passed to keep the government open. it needs to be passed by april 28th. april 29th happens to be the 100 day marker. >> as they say, what could go wrong? eli, this president, we've said this before, respectfully, didn't come from this line of work. a lot of what he's foointd finding out about the job, about the history from everything from the structure he's living in to customs, traditions, is first-time knowledge. he tends to wear briefings very visibly. are you saying that he is
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accepting some new truths? that he is becoming a lib different as a manager, his twitter behavior, and the like? >> we reason is seen as many tweets from the president this week. i'm hesitant to draw any conclusions and say anything definitively about a change in behavior because as we always said during the cane, the joke was there was no pivot with donald trump. but, yes, i do think that he has been chastened by the experience of these first 81 days so far. the chaos theory of campaign -- it worked during the campaign. i don't know that the chaos theory has worked to the president's benefit. that's one thing that someone we spoke to today who was very close to the president outside the administration said they think he is coming to realize that and looking for ways to sort of calm the chaos within the administration, whether it's the infighting, whether it's the outreach with capitol hill. he wants to notch some wins. they say at the end of the day he just wants to win. it's really a matter of how you define that. we can go all the way back to the campaign. you remember, you know, the
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chaos has always surrounded donald trump. the organization always reflects the person at the top. donald trump's corporation and his presidency thu far have been defined by chaos, by infighting by these battles by people fighting for his favor. even if he wants to pick it, that might be tough for him to do. >> caitlyn, polling, which he cares deeply about, which the news media care deeply about, from a low of 35, 36, he is up, though still underwater. and for people who are searching for something presidential, i guess lobbing 60 cruise missiles into syria will have to suffice. >> right. i think this is the kind of moment -- you know, president kz control some thing. they are thrust often into foreign policy challenges. we've seen that before. we are seeing this now. he very much campaigned as a domestic president, right? campaigning on economic issues, this kind of economic populism that steve bannon championed.
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now the focus shifts to foreign affairs. and he is becoming a different kind of president than he campaign on as it relates to foreign policy. i think that's going to really shape what we're seeing right now. and if he is looking for a win that kind of thing comes with very big risks, of course. yes, the missile strike was widely approved by the public. but there are lots of lingering questions about what happens next. of course, a weariness among the american public waiting for some direction out this congress. >> and the foreign policy part of it we are going to take up later in the broadcast. but, shane, what happenedo the speculion about a new chief of staff? is there any intel on that? >> trump has been sounding people out about alternatives to reince priebus. i doesn't sound like he wants to make a move before that 100 day marker lest it completely subsume coverage of that i want to bring up the missile strikes. what was striking today at the
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white house briefing that sean spicer gave was how many times he kept siding that these were widely praised attacks, widely praised moves. i typically hadn't thought about foreign policy sending off missiles in terms of public opinion. typically from the podium that's not what press secretaries speak about. three or four times he said this has been widely praised domestically and internationally. and it was a interesting frame of a major foreign policy decision in terms of its popularity. >> shane, have you ever seen leaking like this? i know it's great for you and for our business, and for covering this place, but have you ever seen anything like it on a per capita white house aide base? >> trump is historic in every possible measurement. >> all right. we'll take that as your answer as we got break. i want to show everybody a headline in "vanity fair" just out about a story we have been chronicling it. and it reads "for the next few
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days, president trump will not be supervised by jared kushner, the ceof the united states of america will observe passover until wednesday evening". that's kind of like what the church has been like. the panel sticking with us. coming up after our first break, as we mentioned, as the white house tries to brand this first 100-day period it's also trying to tamp down the reports of infighting. but can kushner and bannon and others make peace once and for all? "the 11th hour," back right after this.
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what is the president's perspective on the ability -- the current ability of his senior advisors to revolve their ideological differences, resolve their personal differences and work as a team? >> he's very confident in that. there is a lot of stuff that was overblown about this that makes of the out into the media sometimes and gets a little bit more sensational than it truly is. >> mr. spicer had a sporty outing today. more than that later. appearing today making his 35th on cama briefing of this still young administration and he is still having to answer questions of course about warring factions just behind him there in the trump white house west wing. while the white house has continually down played the narrative, the report is the president called for a de, the a
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negotiation t saying quote, work this out. insha, a great quote stuck out causing much structurying to guess who this was, quote, anyone who thinks that steve bannon has lost his nunes they don't know what the f they are talking about. family broadcast, we are going to set our imagination wild and figure out what he was saying, or she was saying. what is the chance this has been overblown? we're all so wary and on the lookout constantly for shiny objects of any size, shape, and form? >> you know, i do think this there is one element of this which has been overblown, which is i do not get the sense that jared kushner and steve bannon who worked very closely together on the campaign actually dislike. they have different visions for what they want out of donald trump's presidency. right now they are the two most powerful men with his ear and
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they are pulling him in different directions. jared kushner is a new yorker, he was a democrat before this. bannon is a hard right, he calls himself a pop you list, a nationalist. they have different ideas. when taxation comes up, when it comes to issues on how to handle health care they have different visions. s, there is a clash they are. so much of it is going to be on the substance what have trump did. while trump was elected on changing things up, he didn't have any specifics, he said repeal obamacare and replace it with something terrific. >> people close to steve bannon told me over the few days what he thought were policy disagreement may be more personal. he felt knee capped maybe,
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perhapst before the friday peace making session that reince priebus organized. but i spoke to someone today who is not really on team bannon. and they said, you have to realize that steve unlike other people like paul manafort who back during the campaign was thrown overboard when he became too much of a problem. steve bannon this person said is close to this president. and he is really the biggest link in that white house to donald trump's political base. so there is probably some serious hesitation about actually making a change and getting him to leave the white house. but it is difficult delivering on that change. we talked in the last segment about donald trump really conforming to washington rather than forcing washington to bend to his pugnacious style of leadership. really what we are seeing -- and part of that, you know, bannon brought in people from breitbart. but this is an establishment town. there is no pop you list nationalist infrastructure to draw on when you want to get
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things done. carrying that ball up the hill has been a heavy lift. >> caitlyn, suddenly jared kushner has this incredible portfolio, he has proximity and he has the aura and protection of family. everyone's allowed to keep family close. >> well, what's really interesting about this palace intrigue, beyond washington and new york, is that now that we are in the process of deciding what to do in syria, for example, deciding the fight against isis, i think the american people think, you know, who has the president's ear? the palace intrigue becomes a national issue of public interest and importance when you are involved in these kinds of issues. so deciding who has the president's ear, who is his most trusted adviser, who is he going to for this kind of advice i think really matters outside kind of the discussion and broader context. but, yes, jared kushner's portfolio does seem to be growing by the day. can he juggle all these issues?
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also, because he is close to the president by family relation and also we know that he is a trusted adviser of his, he's not someone who will be forced out by the president. so let's see how long this kind of detente lasts. >> shane, don't look now but coming down the pike is tax reform, which, you know, so many people don't realize what goes into that. there's a reasonity hasn't been done in a long, long time and then oh, byhe way let's all agree on infrastructure. that is what we want, who gets it, who gets the contracts for it, where those right of ways are going to be decide when you add six lanes to a super highway. this is a crowded agenda. and we've got days ticking by. >> i do think it is a complete misunderstanding of how washington works to think that you can move from health care
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failure to tax reform and say this is going to be easier. health care was last done eight years ago. tax reform was last done in 1986. and that was a bipartisan package. ronald reagan rolled that without with the support of congressional democrats. trump is going to be looking at tax package where he is unlikely to start with any democratic support. and almost any tax change you take is going to fissure the republican party. there is a deep difference among republicans what taxes to cut or raise. this goes back to the inside his party split. you have a pop you list wing and another wing that is more tied to wall street. gary coe co -- gary cohen. >> eli, what's your cocktail party answer when someone asks you how donald trump, who once called himself a cultural new
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yorker who was pro choice and all the rest of it, got lined up with a bannon, and by extension, that kind of movement outside the republican party? >> you rlly do get the sense that donald trump said a lot of what he had to say to win a republican primary and then to get elected. he does believe deeply in some of the thing, immigration, trade is important to him. in terms of him being able to deliver, he is not going to take responsibility himself. a lot of the thing on steve bannon's white board in his office, they haven't gotten done. there is not even a sitting trade rep, a nominee for that person, a priority we thought for the president, that person happy been confirmed yet. there is a lot of undone business on donald trump's to do list as we approach the 100 day mark. and really, he is trying to sort of figure out how to show some wins for his base but also how to govern. at the end of the day he wants something to say to hold up as a
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win. he is so idiologically malleable it's difficult to describe. so it sort of depends, whichever way the win is blowing in washington, i think donald trump will go that way. he's just hoping at the end of the day he has something to show for night what an interesting depiction of the president and his staff from our three professionals starting off our broadcast tonight. our thanks to all of you, shane, kate listen, eli. we'll take our sec break and coming up the serious and cons consequentialal backdrop of the missiles launched into syria, when "the 11th hour" continues. , which matched my dr. scholl's custom fit orthotic inserts. so i get immediate relief from my foot pain. my knee pain. find a machine at drscholls.com.
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this week, secretary of state rex tillerson will face the biggest challenge of his as yet short tenure in office, a trip to russia. the former exxonmobil ceo will have to walk a fine diplomatic line and doing it while working under the added scrutiny of multiple investigations into possible connections between the trump campaign, trump administration, and russia. tillerson is tasked with convincing russia to pressure syria's president to stop using chemical weapons on his own people. all while avoiding any major conflict. and if you are wondering what the message to russia about syria will be, you are not alone. the trump administration, as we saw this weekend, is

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